Fiction has an obvious story arc, but memoirs and narrative nonfiction benefit from a structure that supports compelling storytelling too. Consider that your story, whether real or imagined, has a protagonist: you, if you’re writing a memoir, or a main character. Even a self-help book has a protagonist—the reader.
Em dashes, en dashes, and hyphens are physically distinct and have very different uses. This brief article provides a glimpse into those uses and distinctions, so you can begin employing the punctuation marks correctly today.
With stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders still in varying degrees of effect, our lives continue to be suspended in uncertainty. Most people are now working from home, and many people have watched helplessly as their jobs went away. Suddenly, we find ourselves sequestered with our households while everyone is in a state of high anxiety. Mix […]
I guess I’m an extreme version of what I’ve heard called a “pantser.” Not only do I plot by the seat of my pants, I do everything that way. I’ve read the usual books on writing (Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, On Writing by Stephen King, Plotting and Writing Suspense by Patricia Highsmith) […]
As an author, one of the most important decisions you must make is what point of view you choose to use to tell your story. Point of view influences everything from how close readers feel to your characters to your word choice and sentence structure. It is the lens through which you tell your story. […]
When someone refers to point of view in writing, they are referring to the lens through which the story is told. This encompasses everything from who is telling the story to who the villain is to how close the reader feels to the characters and events. By choosing the right lens, an author can effectively […]
A while back, I received a grammar tip sheet and learned it’s now deemed proper to style the word e-mail sans hyphen. Not long after, I read that the venerable Oxford English Dictionary has added OMG, BFF, LOL, and more to its pages—who would have thought this of the OED? All of which, in a […]
As a freelance editor, I spend a lot of time changing authors’ texts. That’s my job. It wasn’t until I experienced the editing process firsthand before publishing my book, Business Matters, that I truly realized what other authors may know: It’s hard on the ego to be edited. When I saw the edits, I didn’t […]
With apologies to my mother (“Turkeys are done, young lady; people are finished”), I pose that question with sincerity, for the writer and editor in me has struggled with it for decades. When is a piece of writing or an editing job actually complete and ready to go out the door? When is “enough” really […]
When I started working as an editor, I came to despise the word “nauseous,” not because of what the word evokes but because I felt nauseated by its misuse. The word “nausea” is a derivative of the Greek word for ship, “naus.” With its “–ea” suffix, it was a name for seasickness, but now “nausea” extends to anything that makes one feel bilious. […]